When it comes to carbon emissions, giant cruise-liners can pack a punch greater than an airplane. It’s been reported that a typical cruise ship (with 3,000 passengers) generates 1 million gallons of gray water; 210,000 gallons of sewage; 25,000 gallons of oily bilge water; 100 gallons of hazardous or toxic waste; 50 tons of garbage and solid waste; and diesel exhaust emissions equal to thousands of cars on the road. Kind of makes the term ‘eco-friendly cruise’ sound like an oxymoron, huh? The movement toward a better world has influenced some major cruise lines to upgrade fleets in order to get on board (pun intended). The green folks at TreeHugger put together a list of 7 Cruises that are treating the ocean rather well.
Disney Cruises have taken steps to improve the footprint of their ships. Installing efficient lighting, reducing weight on the ship and installing automatic air conditioning controls to optimize cooling resources–resulted in a 5% energy savings. Disney Cruises was also the first to apply a non-toxic coating to the hull of the ship to improve the ship’s ability to glide across the water, creating less drag.
Norwegian Cruise Lines was the first to install an eco-ballast system to ensure that water leaving the ship does not send out toxins or other invasive species. The ships also donate their used cooking oil to farmers in port cities, as both a way to get rid of garbage on board and provide free fuel for farmers.
Holland America‘s ships (main image) has done an excellent job improving their energy efficiency and reducing waste reduction. They’ve made use of a black water treatment system, have virtually no waste going overboard, and have environmental officers on every cruise, as well as an eco-educated staff.
To read about what other major cruise lines are taking steps to become more energy efficient, check out the full list of 7 Ocean-Friendly Cruises at TreeHugger.